Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/218

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208
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

appointment of the Windom Committee on Transportation in 1872. In New York, Grangers boast of the Hepburn Commission of 1879, and claim to have defeated a railroad man, C. M. Depew, for the Senate in 1881. And doubtless the Interstate Commerce Bill will be hailed as one more achievement.

Note. — The progress and decline of the Granger movement will be considered in a later article. — Ed.


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THE BOYHOOD OF DARWIN.[1]

By HIMSELF.

[My father's autobiographical recollections, given in the present chapter, were written for his children — and written without any thought that they would ever be published. To many this may seem an impossibility; but those who knew my father will understand how it was not only possible but natural. The autobiography bears the heading, "Recollections of the Development of my Mind and Character," and ends with the following note: "August 3, 1876. This sketch of my life was begun about May 28th at Hopedene,[2] and since then I have written for nearly an hour on most afternoons." It will easily be understood that, in a narrative of a personal and intimate kind, written for his wife and children, passages should occur which must here be omitted; and I have not thought it necessary to indicate where such omissions are made. It has been found necessary to make a few corrections of obvious verbal slips, but the number of such alterations has been kept down to the minimum. — F. D.]

A GERMAN editor having written to me for an account of the development of my mind and character, with some sketch of my autobiography, I have thought that the attempt would amuse me, and might possibly interest my children or their children. I know that it would have interested me greatly to have read even so short and dull a sketch of the mind of my grandfather, written by himself, and what he thought and did, and how he worked. I have attempted to write the following account of myself as if I were a dead man in another world looking back at my own life. Nor have I found this difficult, for life is nearly over with me. I have taken no pains about my style of writing.

I was born at Shrewsbury on February 12, 1809, and my earliest recollection goes back only to when I was a few months over four years old, when we went to near Abergele for sea-bathing, and I recollect some events and places there with some little distinctness.

  1. From advance sheets of "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," by his Son, Francis Darwin. New York: D. Appleton & Co.
  2. Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood's house in Surrey.